Learn about changes to DFW’s Board and our new Panel of Experts, get an update on our Peace Corps' Let Girls Learn partnership, and apply for new volunteer positions.
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VOLUME  4, ISSUE 7 | JULY 2016
DFW’s 2015 Board -- back row, from left: Susan Stall, Susan Negrin, Anne Capestrain (ret.), Barbara Wagner, Cynthia Radford. 
Front row, from left: Marsha Wallace, Barb Collins, Sandy Ward, Susan Garrity.

The Evolution of DFW’s Board
By Barb Collins, DFW Board Chair and Co-Founder

Board Chair and Co-Founder, Barb Collins, talks about DFW’s Board, including some recent Board decisions and changes to Board positions.

Read Barb's blog.

Emory University Executive Joins DFW Board 

At its May meeting, the Board of Directors for Dining for Women approved the appointment of Carol Dillon Kissal as a new Director. Carol is the Vice-President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer for Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where she is responsible for all financial operations, treasury and debt portfolios, financial reporting, grants and contracts sponsored research programs, procurement and contracts management. During her impressive career, she has also held senior roles at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), the District of Columbia Department of Transportation and Amtrak. 

“Carol brings tremendous financial acumen and strategic leadership to Dining for Women’s Board as we advance our 2020 Vision,” Barb Collins, Board Chair and Co-Founder, said.  “She embodies the spirit of Dining for Women, and we welcome her passion, energy and remarkable talent to the Board.” 

Read Carol’s bio.

Panel of Experts Established to Advise DFW
By Beth Ellen Holimon, President

I am delighted to announce that Dining for Women has established its Panel of Experts with our first two extraordinary individuals. The Panel is a collection of individuals who bring unique skills and expertise, and provide advice and recommendations to the Board of Directors and staff.

Continue Reading ...

Update on Peace Corps' Let Girls Learn Partnership 

In March, DFW announced its first impact partnership grant – a $100,000 commitment to the Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn Fund in support of girls’ education. The Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Program helps adolescent girls around the world complete their education by removing the social and structural barriers that many girls face in accessing an education. 

DFW’s grant will be utilized by Peace Corps Volunteers around the world to fund grassroots, community-led projects that address barriers to girls’ education and improve the quality of that education. 

So what has been happening since the announcement earlier this year? 

Applications Being Accepted for Grant Selection Committee  

Applications are currently being accepted to fill volunteer vacancies on DFW’s Grant Selection Committee (GSC). The GSC is a group of DFW volunteers who are responsible for the in-depth evaluation of DFW grant proposals. This includes investigating many aspects of the applying organization such as its stated mission and goals, success rates, finances and staff, as well as critically evaluating all components of the proposed project using defined evaluation criteria and methods. Responsibilities include participating in weekly teleconference meetings and attending face-to-face meetings in late February and early August.

Selected candidates need to commit to a minimum of two years (four grant cycles) on the GSC. The application form and a complete position description are available online until July 24 ONLY. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Director of Grants & Partnerships, Veena Khandke, at

Volunteer Opportunities:  Advocacy and Diversity

In our May issue, we announced a new Volunteer page on our website, along with a new application process for specific volunteer opportunities. Each month in The Dish, we will share with you volunteer opportunities that are currently available. We also encourage you to check the Volunteer page regularly for updates – you may want to bookmark the page for easy access. Current volunteer needs include positions on several operational committees:   

NEW!  Advocacy Committee – The Advocacy Committee is seeking enthusiastic members who are interested in changing the way the world works for women.  We are seeking grassroots organizers, educators, writers, researchers, and those with experience in US political systems and international women’s advocacy.   

NEW!  Diversity Committee – The Diversity Committee is looking for people who care deeply about ensuring that all voices are heard in DFW's membership and decision-making. DFW encourages applicants of all ages, gender identities, races/ethnicities, and sexual orientations. People of color and/or LGBTQ are highly encouraged to apply. 


Our Featured Grantee for July:
Development in Gardening (DIG)

Development in Gardening (DIG) enables vulnerable and HIV-affected communities to meet their own needs and improve their well-being through nutrition-sensitive and sustainable agriculture. DFW’s featured grant to DIG will support some of the most marginalized people in Africa – the Batwa women and girls.  The goal of this project is to break the cycle of poverty, malnutrition and oppression of indigenous Batwa communities in Uganda by helping Batwa women become more self-reliant through sustainable agriculture initiatives. 

Dining for Women’s $42,100 grant will fund three community gardens and 400 women-led home gardens, local facilitators, all garden and training materials and more.  

Learn More »

Our Conversation with Sarah Koch, Founder and Executive Director of Development in Gardening, is available here.

3 Things You Need to Know about our Featured Grantee

The creation of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda forced migration of the indigenous Batwa people off their native land, reducing them to landless squatters with few opportunities to make their own livelihoods.
The whole Batwa community, especially women and children, has been devastated by extreme poverty, sexual exploitation and substance abuse. They have suffered some of the most severe health outcomes and fall far below the average health outcomes of typical Ugandans. Life expectancy is 28, and average annual income is $25.
This project provides experiential training in sustainable agriculture, nutrition, improved cooking practices and business record-keeping. It will directly benefit 400 women and indirectly benefit more than 1,200 Batwa women and girls and 800 male family members.

The Proven Platter- Mango Coulis with Tapioca
By Linda McElroy, DFW Recipe Curator and Chapter Leader of WA, Seattle-1

We are going to Uganda this month in support of Development in Gardening. It is July, it’s hot, and I’m hoping that you’ll be able to do some grilling. I’ve got Beef Skewers in Green Masala on the menu, although you could certainly use chicken or pork if you prefer. A Cabbage Salad with Pineapple presents a fresh new take on coleslaw with an African twist. And for dessert, we have a stunning Mango Coulis with Tapioca.

Continue Reading

View all recipes from Uganda

Our Thanks to Outgoing Regional Leader 

We extend our thanks to Anna Schoon, who is stepping down as Regional Leader for our Central Region. Anna has served in this position since the fall of 2014. With a busy career as well as pursuing a graduate degree in social justice, Anna found that she could no longer commit the time to the Regional Leader role. 

“Anna has contributed so much to DFW, both within the Central Region and at the national level,” DFW President Beth Ellen Holimon said. “She has been vital in our chapter retention efforts through the development of a valuable tool to assess chapter health. We have appreciated her professionalism and her passion and wish her all the best.” 

Anna will continue to lead the IN, Valparaiso-1 chapter, which she founded in 2013, and to serve as a Mentor.  

“Dining for Women is such an amazing organization,” Anna said. “It has been a distinct privilege to engage with the brilliant, passionate, committed women (staff and volunteers) who lead the organization. I'm so excited about the plans and strategies for growing and expanding our impact. I sincerely hope that one day, when career and family demands have slowed, I can dedicate more time and resources to the work we all do together.” 

Corinne Blakemore is the new Regional Leader for the Central Region, and efforts to recruit a Co-Leader will begin in the near future. 

10 Years of Food, Wine and Friendship in Phoenix 

Congratulations to the AZ, Phoenix-1 chapter on 120 meetings – 10 wonderful years. The chapter is led by its founder, Rita Dickinson, who has hosted 116 of her group’s gatherings in her home. The chapter has its roots in Rita’s book club. Interest had waned in the book club, but Rita still wanted to gather with like-minded women. She saw a magazine article about DFW and thought it fit the bill. Now, there are 24 women on the chapter’s roster, with about 15 to 18 in attendance each month.  

The chapter, also known as “Wining for Women”, starts its meetings with wine and continues with a potluck of light dishes and desserts. The group has a very personal touch, as they go around the table and share what has happened in their lives over the past month.  

Over the course of 10 years, Rita said her easygoing group – she calls it “low maintenance” – has proven to be a real support for members. The group has mourned the loss of three members during that time and sustained others with friendship. “We have members who lead fascinating lives, and I look forward to hearing what has been going on in their lives each month,” she said. “We have had several who have gone through cancer treatments and other difficulties and they say they felt the strength of our chapter members helped them through.”  

Rita encourages new chapter leaders to keep their chapter in perspective. Her focus is on serving DFW’s grantees and growing the relationships in her chapter.  

“I would say to take our mission and programs seriously, but don’t take yourselves too seriously,” she said. 

Still Have Questions About our Program Funding Model?
Watch this Video 

In this video, Beth Ellen Holimon, President, and Susan Stall, Vice Chair and former Treasurer, answer some of the most common questions we have received from members about the changes to our program funding model. Watch it on your own, or share it at your chapter meeting. 

Member Profile Survey 

Don’t forget to complete our Member Profile Survey, which is available online on an ongoing basis. Tell us about your skills, background and ways in which you would like to become more engaged with DFW. We will use this database to match members with DFW’s needs. This may include committee work, board member searches, special projects or consulting opportunities. Thank you to all those who have already completed the survey! 

2015 Annual Report 

Check out the impact of DFW’s grants in 2015. You can find this and lots of other great info about DFW and our accomplishments in our 2015 Annual Report. Please note that the financial information in the report has been updated based on our recently-completed audit. The audit was conducted by an independent, third-party CPA. The complete 2015 audit and IRS Form 990 will be available on our website soon.   


A warm welcome to our new chapter in Los Angeles, CA which had its first meeting in May. The Chapter Leader is Nora Paller. This is an area where we hope to grow in the future so thank you, Nora, for getting this chapter started! 
Congratulations to the five Western North Carolina chapters for a very unique fundraiser held May 31. Members from NC, Hendersonville/Brevard, NC Asheville-1, NC, Asheville – 2, NC, Weaverville-1, and NC, Fairview-1 chapters participated in a LaZoom tour – a ride through Asheville on a big purple comedy bus. LaZoom Bus Tours is owned by DFW member Jen Lauzon, who generously supported the event and organized it along with the Weaverville chapter leader Sheila Dunn. The group also enjoyed food and beverages from a unique Asheville brewery and celebrated three chapter anniversaries. The event was a tremendous success, with 40 people participating and $620 raised.
Congratulations to the AZ, Phoenix-6 chapter on its fifth anniversary. Chapter Leader Kathy Hoffman received a table runner from DFW to commemorate the event. Thank you for your dedication to DFW!
Congratulations to the CA, Castro Valley-1 chapter on seven years of Dining for Women dinners! The chapter is led by Patricia Payne and Susan Negrin. The group celebrated in May with fun signs borrowed from the San Jose chapter and by making jars of seasoned salt to take home.
Congratulations to the WI, Fontana-1 chapter, led by Cherie Ackman, on the celebration of its fifth anniversary. Thank you for your commitment to women and girls!
We’re so happy to congratulate the PA, Elkins Park-1 chapter, led by Cindy Ariel and Sheryl Potashnik, on five years with DFW. The group also celebrated the event with their new table runner. Thank you for your continued support!
The MD, Rockville-1 chapter, led by Merle Steiner and Peggy Bare, had an early celebration of their ninth anniversary. The first chapter meeting was Sept. 30, 2007. Thanks for your continued support of women and girls!


Please send photos of your chapter milestones, meetings or special events to:

Follow DFW on Instagram for program info, recipes, chapter news, and more.

New Chapters Activated

NC, Cary - 3
led by Josephine de los Reyes & Beverly Brown
NM, Albuquerque - 1
led by Patricia Erdmann
OR, Portland - 16
led by Mary Cecchini
WA, Seattle - 9
led by Anne Maertens
WI, Middleton - 1
led by Wendy Petersson & Julie LaFleur

Grantee Reports Posted


Chapter Anniversaries

1 Year
KS, Salina - 1
led by Rebecca Chancellor
WA, Spokane - 3
led by Cherie Beckstrom
2 Years
CO, Fort Collins - 5
led by Kendra Bartley
DE, Wilmington - 2
led by Mary Chan & Regina Allen
KY, Frankfort - 3
led by Arba Kenner & Tonya Kenner
ME, South Portland - 1
led by Taryn Walker
3 Years
DC, Washington - 8
led by Betsy Hendrickson & Jessica Shoemaker
MT, Missoula - 1
led by Lisa Swallow
NC, Hendersonville - 1
led by Megan Priester & Peggy McCaffrey
4 Years
IA, Davenport - 1
led by Christine Sederstrom & Jennifer Lanphere
IL, Downers Grove - 1
led by Bethany Keown, Erin Weltler, & Mindy Werner
NY, Rochester - 1
led by Barbara Quine-Moran & Linda Meagher
5 Years
NY, Hartsdale - 1
led by Diana Santa Maria-Clay & Antonia Thalheimer
7 Years
AZ, Tucson - 1
led by Lily Curtis & Solveig Rhodes
CA, San Jose - 3
led by Connie Rice & Barbara Anderson
CA, San Jose - 4
led by Anna Pujol, Susan Garrity, Sharyl Iwata,
& Joann Brown
CA, San Jose - 5
led by Nancy Takaichi & Johanne & David Roberts
CT, Avon - 1
led by Susan Lane & Sally McGovern
FL, Orlando - 1
led by Danielle Appignani
GA, Augusta - 2
led by Dana Gates & Cynthia Miller
8 Years
CT, Farmington - 2
led by Maggie Carlin
GA, Atlanta - 1
led by Kira Walker & Sarah Durry
NY, New York - 1
led by Susan Damplo
OR, Eugene - 1
led by Kathleen Jaworski
9 Years
CA, Santa Cruz - 1
led by Cari Class, Lisa Krigsman, & Clare Campbell
10 Years
PA, Ephrata - 1
led by Karen Malleus & Daila Boufford
SC, Simpsonville - 1
led by Gretchen Johnson
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